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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Carp Parts--Mouths and Lips

About this time in 2011, I thought about doing a series of blog posts  all on “Carp parts”.  The idea was to have mostly pictures and very little text.  You know Carp parts—tails, scales, fins, eyes, mouths, faces, heads, gill plates, and dead ones.  I thought of it as soft porn; never showing the whole fish.  I had Carp fished for 5 years before I started blogging so I had a lot of pictures to go back through.  I got very involved with producing Carp on the fly video back in 2011 so this project got put on hold.  I picked it up again a few weeks ago.  I now also have a post on “rods” and one on “roads and trails” that I have rough drafted.  You’re wondering if I work--you know like at a real job.  Yes, I do; quite a lot actually.   

I set a few rules for myself in this “Carp Parts” series.  1.  No pictures of an entire fish.  2.  No pictures of my face or any of my friend's faces.   3.  No cropped or rotated pictures.   4.  Only pictures I have taken. 

One of the videos I created and produced in 2011 was for my Carp on the fly seminar.  The task devoured time like a summer wildfire pushed by high wind through a dry forest.  In that seminar one of the first things I show are several pictures of the mouths of other fish and then I show pictures of Carp mouths.  People who have only fished for Trout and Salmonids think that Carp have funny, or even ugly mouths.  For the seminar I figure let’s not ignore how a Carp's mouth looks; let’s celebrate them!  When I caught my first Carp, as excited as I was, I thought the mouth on that sucker looked pretty dang weird.  Ammmm…I don’t think that anymore.  I love them big rubbery lips!  Dang, they, are, purdy!  

In preparing this series I encountered a few simple dilemmas.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to start this series with tails or mouths.  I’m going with mouths and will work back towards the tail.   I’m not sure if I will have a separate post for “faces” and “heads”.  I’m still thinking about that. I have several pictures of an entire fish where I really like the tail.  I decided against including pictures of the whole fish or cropping the picture.  The second picture in this post is one of my favorites.  It could go in the "Mouths and Lips" post or it could go in the "Eyes" post.  I decided against using the same picture in two posts.  I decided it was okay to use a shot of the same fish as long as it was a different picture.  (I know, I  know, you thinking I was kidding about having a job; I really do and I really do work a lot.)  

I would totally understand if you look at this post and think, “That is way too damn many Carp lips!”  Yeah, maybe it is. At this moment I am at the Carp Lodge.  I believe I could drive a short ways to the river and find a few Carp.  I think I might even get one or two to take my fly.  I like fishing for lots of different species; I like Carp best of all.

It is the winter; I choose not to Carp fish now and I feel very good about that.  It really helps me to savor the past year and to look forward to the coming season.  The waiting is good for my heart.  The soft Carp porn helps get me in the mood for next season.  Seriously.  The intensity of Carp fishing during the season is more enjoyable if I take things more slowly now.

The "Carp Parts" series is a celebration of these magnificent game fish!

This is one, efficient, food intake system.  

One of my favorite Carp lips picture

A thick lipped Montana Carp

 Another thick lipped Montana Carp.  This one took a dry fly.  

Another favorite Carp mouth picture.  This one is from the Columbia River. 

 I wonder if this is the pharyngeal tooth?  

It seems like this Carp has almost no lips compared to some of these other ones.

I like how the barbules get emphasized in this picture.  

 This Carp sucked up the Carrot and tried to swallow it.  

True, they are rubbery lips, but the lips of a predator nevertheless.

 Thick lips, but this one didn't come from Montana.  He lived in Oregon.  

A stillwater Carp.  I have often wondered if the environment effects how big and how thick their pretty lips get.  The bottom of this lake is all soft mud.

 This  Carp's mouth makes him look old and sad.  When I released him he felt glad and very young again.

One of Gregg Martin's Eggs is in the mouth of this Carp. 


  1. "This Carp's mouth makes him look old and sad. When I released him he felt glad and very young again." Ha ha ha, great post Jim. Angelina Jolie would be so jealous.

    1. Thanks Chris. I have a 3 ring binder full of Carp pictures that I have on the table when I work at the Sporsman's Show. I also have a close up of Angelina Jolie's lips mixed in with the Carp pictures. I call her Angelina Lipie.

  2. Excellent photos Jim.

    Do carp have boobs?

    1. HA!

      This is a family friendly blog, Brent!

  3. A better mouth for hooking and for the non argument of barbless hooks I've ever seen. Sweet photo's Mr.P!


    1. They do have great mouths, Gregg. When I first started Carp fishing I had to get past how different the mouths looked but now I love 'em!

  4. As always a great piece and very interesting.

    I agree and no Boga grips or fish on stones please, it just does damage to their bodies if they move.

    Best Wishes.

  5. That is a whole lotta sexy lips going on there. Ilove the reference to them being a predador. Betcha those big ol lips are much more terrifying than teeth if you are a small and helpless bug.

    1. They are predators indeed; you don't get fat without downing a lot of calories.

  6. Great post. You were right. It was just like softcore porn. LOL. Really enjoyed the photos and the captions. Tight lines